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Classical Review

January 12, 2014 22:12

Conducted by Andres Mustonen, the choir stole the show.

Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra

Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. (photo credit:Sasson Tiram)

Haydn: The Creation
Jerusalem Theater, January 2

The Light shone in all its resplendent glory, contrasting forcefully with the preceding Darkness, in the first day of Haydn’s Creation, as expressed by the State Choir of Latvia, in the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra’s Liturgica Festival.

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Conducted by Andres Mustonen, the choir stole the show. With its full, rich sound, pure intonation, clear enunciation, split-second discipline and infectious enthusiasm and exuberance, it celebrated the glory of the Lord and the “joy of a New World” with intense persuasiveness.

Among the soloists, Hila Baggio’s clear soprano blended harmoniously with the ensemble. In her solo parts, her strained efforts to reach the highest notes were sometimes too obvious.

Mati Turi’s bright, friendly tenor provided a striking contrast to the opening bass’ description of the gloomy chaos.

Noah Brieger’s sonorous, warm baritone made courageous efforts to reach the lower regions, since Raphael’s role is actually intended for a basso profundo descending down to portray the “worms creeping on the ground.”

The orchestra vivaciously illustrated the dramatic events of the creation.

Uriel’s final stern admonition to Adam and Eve “not to wish more than you have and to know more than you should” sounded as relevant today as it was in the Creation’s time.

The choir’s concluding “Amen,” as an encore, with an “A” held so long as to make the audience almost lose its breath, brought this extraordinary performance to its stunning close.
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